Adding an honor society to the mix

Advisers say honor groups create space for service, engagement, and recognition of excellence

By Lindsey Wotanis
Marywood University

College media advisers have a lot on their plates.

They’re doing their best, day in and out, to train the next generation of journalists–a difficult task at a time when the free press is constantly under attack and when more and more university public relations teams are working overtime to control their schools’ images.

The thought of incorporating something else into the mix might be overwhelming. But adding an honor society has the potential to pay dividends for advisers, students and campus communities who are in the trenches engaged in everyday collegiate media work.

Chapters can motivate students and reward excellent work

One of the most obvious benefits of starting an honor society chapter is the opportunities it affords for rewarding outstanding work.

Next week in CMR: A guide to Honor Societies

Some societies, like Lambda Pi Eta, which is the official honor society of the National Communication Association, honor communication students who excel academically. Students earning a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.25 major GPA are invited to join. The National Broadcasting Society/Alpha Epsilon Rho (NBS/AERho), a society geared toward students in broadcasting and other electronic media, has similar GPA requirements for new members.

Continue reading Adding an honor society to the mix

Review: ‘Dynamics of News Reporting & Writing’

Filak’s textbook offers ‘more’ in form of accompanying blog

Reviewed by Carolyn Schurr Levin

At a time when students are increasingly skeptical about the value of high priced textbooks and professors are often asked to justify their cost, it undoubtedly helps when a book offers something “more.” Vincent Filak’s “Dynamics of News Reporting & Writing,” released on Jan. 2, 2018, does just that. In addition to providing a potpourri of chapters routinely found in reporting books, including “Interviewing,” “Broadcast-Style Writing and Voicing,” “Basics of Writing,” and “Editing Audio and Video,” Filak, a professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has deftly added “more” in the form of a blog, dynamicsofwriting.com. It includes almost daily updates with additional information, examples of material discussed in the textbook and interactive elements to keep students engaged and the material fresh. Recent blog posts, including “Profile Writing: You can observe a lot by watching” and “5 cool things about open records I learned from an #ACPBOM session,” provide timely and helpful content that can be integrated into a course curriculum.

The textbook is written in a conversational tone. “I try to put tools in your toolbox,” Filak said. “Whatever you are doing or where you are going, you will take these with you.” The book is, above all, practical and user friendly. Each chapter begins with “Learning Objectives,” offers “Helpful Hints,” and ends with “Write Now!” assignments. Continue reading Review: ‘Dynamics of News Reporting & Writing’

Extra! Extra!: The NTUBulletin and Active Journalism Teaching and Writing

Instruction at National Taipei University of Business, 2016-2018

By David Pendery
National Taipei University of Business


Abstract — This paper examines publication of the NTUBulletin newspaper at the National Taipei University of Business (NTUB) from spring 2016 through fall 2017, focusing on the fall 2017 semester. This was the first English language newspaper published at our school. The newspaper is a full-color paper, printed on A3 and A4 paper. A four-page paper has been expanded to six pages. The paper has undergone one redesign. It began with a four-week deadline schedule that was reduced to three weeks in the second semester. A News English class originally published the paper and later was moved into writing courses. The paper thus always had a focus on writing improvement with students – the value of which has been shown in questionnaires distributed to the class. This paper has created substantial energy and excitement at NTUB, and the teacher has been invited to distribute copies to other schools and speak about the experience of publication and writing training in the course. Continue reading Extra! Extra!: The NTUBulletin and Active Journalism Teaching and Writing